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Male-specific courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster occurs as a result of sexually dimorphic neural structures. The fruitless gene in Drosophila melanogaster encodes for sex-specific transcription factors and is considered to be the master regulator in the specification of courtship circuitry. Sex-specific and common fruitless transcripts encode for an array of putative transcription factors that regulate downstream targets. Antibody staining was used to visualize the localization of male-specific FRUM proteins. FRUM protein expression was detected in the central brain region and the ventral nerve cord of the central nervous system in third-instar larvae males. The FRUM localization observed was consistent with fruitless specified neural structures in the brain and neural innervation from the abdominal ganglion into the Muscle of Lawrence. Further investigation into fruitless’s role in a regulatory hierarchy paired with its role in sensory integration and behavior execution allow it to give useful insight into the relationship between genes and behavior.
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Zylka, Sarah, "fruitless in Drosophila melanogaster and the specification of courtship circuitry" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 15.
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